Archive for Mexico

About Santa Muerte or Holy Death: Ritual to Consecrate a Talisman to the White Lady of Mexico

Posted in Black Magic, Holy Death, Mexican Witchcraft, occult, Santa Muerte, spell books, spell casting, Spells for Money and Wealth, Traditional Witchcraft with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 9, 2013 by littleredridinghood

smredwhiteblueby Sophia diGregorio

Sophia diGregorio is the author of The Grimoire of Santa Muerte: Spells and Rituals of Most Holy Death, the Unofficial Saint of Mexico

Santa Muerte or Holy Death Death is believed by some to be a representation of an ancient Aztec goddess called Mictecacihuatl, the Lady of the Dead. Although, this origin is disputed by other researchers who point to a long history of death goddesses throughout Mexico and in Western Europe, as well. She may be a little bit of both. It is highly improbable that she has any relationship to the spirits of Afro-caribbean traditions as some have suggested because there is historically really no substantial African influence in Mexico.

Santa Muerte was practically unknown until a few years ago. According to one account, her influence grew in Tepito, which is a neighborhood in Mexico City that the police were unable to control. She is sometimes described as a “narco-saint” and is associated in the minds of law enforcement agencies with the drug trade. But, her significance and popularity is much broader than that.

Santa Muerte is not necessarily associated with crime, but she might be characterized as a spirit of defiance, which has grown out of the injustices perpetrated by the government and law enforcement agencies on good, hard-working Mexican people. The police and the organized criminal class is intertwined in Mexico (just as they are in many large cities in the U.S.).

Los Zetas, the infamous drug traffickers said to be responsible for a great deal of violence in Mexico, was formed by police officers. In cities like Juarez, it is estimated by some that 1/3 of the police department is comprised of members of drug cartels. In other parts of Mexico, the police engage in the human trafficking of people from Guatemala and El Salvador. Sporadically, there are reports of good townspeople fighting the police to rescue the victims.

So, you can see that, at least in some places in Mexico, if you have been victimized by criminals, the police and the legal system may not be the best place to turn for help.

In past centuries, the Catholic Church has stood between criminal governments and the people, but the Catholic Church in Mexico has failed to meet the needs of many Mexicans either physically or spiritually.

Because of this, Santa Muerte has become a refuge for those who need protection from criminals of both the common and police classes.

In circumstances of oppression like this, witchcraft always grows darker and stronger. Such is the case with the Santa Muerte.

Her popularity is, also, growing in parts of the U.S. where people face similar injustices and dangers from the same two classes of people.

Grimoire of Santa Muerte: Spells and Rituals of Most Holy Death, the Unofficial Saint of Mexico

Getting to Know Santa Muerte

Grimoire of Santa Muerte: Spells and Rituals of Most Holy Death, the Unofficial  by Sophia diGregorio

Grimoire of Santa Muerte: Spells and Rituals of Most Holy Death, the Unofficial by Sophia diGregorio

In most representations of Santa Muerte, she is depicted as a skeleton wearing a hood and holding a scythe like the grim reaper. The scythe and her deathly appearance symbolize her power over life and death. Essentially, she is the spirit of death and probably a combination of several such spirits from both Mexico and southwestern Europe.

Because of her thin, skeletal image, she is sometimes called “la Nina Blanca” (the white lady or girl) or “la nina flaca” (“the skinny girl”). She is quietly referred to by many as, “mi amiga” (my friend).

Commonly, she holds the earth in her hands as a representation of her earthly powers. Sometimes she stands on it, similar to some depictions of Our Lady of Guadalupe. In some depictions, she seems to be holding what looks like a crystal ball, however, in other representations it is clearly the earth with the various continents she holds in her hand.

She often holds the scales of justice. This is reminiscent of the Egyptian goddess Maat, who represents law, order, balance and justice. One of Santa Muerte’s most important functions is to mete out justice in instances where crimes and criminals would otherwise go unpunished.

Frequently, she is depicted with one or two owls either perched at her feet or behind her shoulders. The owl has associations with witchcraft in Mexico, Europe and around the world. In Mexico, it is believed by some that witches can turn into owls and there are many reports of human-looking owls (Lechuzas) flying in the air along the Rio Grande and all the way from Monterrey, Mexico to northern Texas. Furthermore, the owl is regarded as a bad omen in Mexico and to hear an owl hooting is seen as a sign that death is nearby.

As further evidence of Santa Muerte’s connection to other goddesses of death in Western Europe and earlier civilizations, the owl is associated with Hecate, the Greek goddess of the Underworld and Minerva or Athena the Roman goddess of Wisdom. The Akkadian goddess Ishtar, who is depicted with owl-like claws and wings, is accompanied by two owls, one on either side of her.

Less often, we see Santa Muerte depicted with a black cat, which is among her chief pets. Cats are associated with both good and bad fortune and with protection, however, they are often considered an omen of bad luck in Mexico.

Santa Muerte statues used primarily for success in business and finances are usually painted gold and she is depicted with golden coins.

Sometimes she carries an oil lamp to light the way. The light is, also, a symbol of illumination and always a symbol of Luciferian rebellion and the willful desire to obtain the knowledge of the gods.

She is, also, often pictured with caskets, skeletons, skulls and horseshoes.

The horseshoe is an ancient symbol with many different meanings. In this instance it may be associated not only with good fortune and protection, but with the crescent moon because Santa Muerte is similar to other goddesses from the Mediterranean. Our Lady of Guadalupe is, also, frequently depicted with a crescent moon.

Statues of Santa Muerte commonly have a cavity in the bottom filled with amulets, seeds or other representations of her power

Grimoire of Santa Muerte: Spells and Rituals of Most Holy Death, the Unofficial Saint of Mexico

Colors Associations of  Santa Muerte

The colors, altar cloths, candles and other dressings used to honor Santa Muerte and to facilitate magical working differs slightly from those used by most modern witches in the U.S. and England. In some ways, they seem closer to the color associations of Buddhism and Hinduism.

Gold, red and black are probably the most commonly seen colors.

Gold or golden yellow is for money, success and financial concerns

Red is for matters of love, romance and protection, especially from the Evil Eye

Black is for total protection from enemies, hexing and revenge

White and bone-color are for peace and harmony in the home and among neighbors

Blue is for increased mental powers and concentration

Green is used in matters pertaining to the law, courts and justice

Amber is used for healing and releasing habits and addictions

Purple is, also, used for health and healing

Santa Muerte is typically approached like any Catholic saint. Unlike other saints her powers are not limited and she does not pass judgment on you or your needs or desires. People often giver her a special altar, which becomes a place of power over time as you work with her.

Once you are used to working with her, you can ask her to lend her power to any of your spells. She is extremely versatile and will be able to help you with all your needs. Simply, tailor your candles and other dressings for her altar, accordingly.

In the U.S., you may have difficulty finding Santa Muerte articles unless you live in Texas or the southwest. If you are fortunate enough to have a Mexican grocery store near you, you may find Santa Muerte candles, scapulars, pendants and other articles sold along with images of other saints. Most Mexican tiendas, also, keep dried herbs, incense and magical powders on hand.

Grimoire of Santa Muerte: Spells and Rituals of Most Holy Death, the Unofficial Saint of Mexico

Ritual to Consecrate a Talisman to the White Lady of Mexico

If you would like to keep the power of Santa Muerte with you, always, you can use the following ceremony to consecrate a pendant to her to create a talisman.

You will need the following:

A statue of Santa Muerte (a prayer card or even an image of her printed from the computer)

Red Ribbon or Cord
White Candle
A glass of fresh, clean water
A Santa Muerte pendant (you may substitute a skull, skeleton or grim reaper)
A red or black cotton handkerchief
Santa Muerte Money Spell

Cleanse the pendant and chain by rubbing it with a little alcohol. Then, allow it to dry.

This consecration ceremony takes place over the course of 3 nights. So, place two marks on the candle to divide it into three sections.

If you are using a prayer card or paper image of Santa Muerte, place it under the candle holder on your altar. Place the glass of water near the candle. Water is the most basic offering to the spirit. You may, also, bread, candy, fruit or some other small offering to her in a little bowl.

On a Tuesday or Thursday night during a Full Moon, light the candle and pray to Santa Muerte, asking for her protection while holding the pendant in your hand, as follows:

“Most Holy Death, I ask that through this image you will cover me with the cloak of your protection, that you always take care of me and guide me through all snares and dangers. Give me your blessing so that I never lack the things I need. Give me strength, health, prosperity and protection. [Add any other petition.]”

You may use a different prayer, the above is only an example. In fact, the words and actions in this consecration are less important than your own energy. There are a lot of prayers to Holy Death, but there is no standard prayer. Many people like to begin and end with a recitation of The Our Father, but this is not a requirement. The best thing you can do is really speak from your heart and make a connection with the spirit of Santa Muerte. Whatever wording you use, ask for her protection to be granted to you through the pendant.

When you have finished your prayer. fold the pendant and cord up into the handkerchief and place it on or in front of the Santa Muerte statue. If you are using an card or paper image, place the handkerchief in front of the candle. Allow it to burn down to the first notch. Then, snuff out the candle and take the handkerchief and place it in the bottom of a drawer.

On the second night, retrieve the handkerchief with the pendant from the drawer and repeat this procedure. It is not necessary to cleanse the pendant, again, as long as no one else touches it. When the candle as burned to the second notch, snuff it out. Place the handkerchief in the drawer.

On the third night, repeat this procedure, allowing the candle to burn down completely. Now, the pendant is ready to wear.

Whenever you need help, touch the medal and ask Santa Muerte to be with you.

Some practitioners repeat this ritual every three months to maintain its power.

The Judeo-Christian god demands worship and his followers consider themselves his servants. By contrast, Santa Muerte serves the people. She doesn’t take anything from the people; she doesn’t demand service and she doesn’t pass judgment or punish. She only gives protection and power to those who have no other advocate and no other recourse.

Grimoire of Santa Muerte: Spells and Rituals of Most Holy Death, the Unofficial Saint of Mexico

Santa Muerte is a Mexican saint, but her devotion is truly a gift from Mexico to the world!

Grimoire of Santa Muerte: Spells and Rituals of Most Holy Death, the Unofficial by Sophia diGregorio

Grimoire of Santa Muerte: Spells and Rituals of Most Holy Death, the Unofficial by Sophia diGregorio

In January 2013, a new book in English, The Grimoire of Santa Muerte: Spells and Rituals of Most Holy Death, the Unofficial Saint of Mexico is the first book especially for American (and English-speaking) devotees of Santa Muerte. There have been numerous books in Spanish from Mexican presses written for Mexican audiences, but few in English written especially for people who are not as familiar with Mexican culture and Catholicism. This book was written by an American Santa Muerte devotee and lover of Mexican history, culture and language especially for non-Spanish speakers.

It contains information about Santa Muerte, her history and legends. It shows how to construct an altar for her, how to consecrate it and it gives prayers, spells and rituals for obtaining the assistance of Santa Muerte for love, protection, prosperity, healing and all of the necessities of life. The next book in the series delves into how to really tap into the power of Santa Muerte and is set to be released in the winter of 2014.

Comments

Duby

Very captivating to say the least. Your knowledge and research on these subjects must be very time consuming, but well worth the effort. I fear with the way things are changing within the US we may soon need Santa Muerte to protect us as well.

TraditionalWitchcraft

Thank you for your kind comment, as well. I really live and breathe the occult. I think it occupies most of my waking time and a lot of my dreams.

And, yes, I think for some of us, this is happening already here in the U.S. and actually has been for a long time. I have had protection from Santa Muerte and a host of saints. In my experience, they don’t work for the Catholic church, they just work! Mexico is a really magical place, so maybe they get their power from something down there.

Dominique

Thanks for this article!  I’m taking notes…

TraditionalWitchcraft

Dominique,

The above prayer could be expanded. She is sometimes called Santisima Muerte or Most Holy Death because some say she is actually a high ranking spirit who commands armies of both angels and demons.

My natural tendency is to start with the Our Father and to end the same way and to address her as Most Holy Death or Santisima Muerte. I always ask her to enlighten my home and cloak me with her protection. Since I’m a person who needs a lot more spiritual protection (we all have as many locks and alarms on our houses as we feel we need – some of us need more than others to feel safe) I always invoke her darker side for protection from evil.

The longer you work with her, the stronger and more powerful her presence seems to become in your life.

magicman

Hi,

I have been living out of my car for 5 years. Now I just have enough money to rent a space in a persons living room for a wile. I desire some more income for my own apartment and a girlfriend. Will Santa Murte help with this? Can I have other things as well like I have St Romo and some Buddha things or is she jealous ? Thanks For the help Grant What color should I get?

TraditionalWitchcraft

Magicman,

It sounds like you have had a streak of bad luck. Santa Muerte is appealed to by people who have had had difficult times and need a little boost. Gold Santa Muerte statues and golden yellow candles are used to appeal to her for financial help. Red Santa Muerte statues and red candles are used to request favors in the romance department.

If you have limited space or are in a situation where you are not free to burn candles, you might want to just get a small Santa Muerte statue – I’d start with the gold. Keep her with you, say prayers to her, invoke her power and generally establish a relationship with her. I suggest gold because you’ll probably want to get your finances straightened out so that you’ll have time to devote to a relationship. You can still use the gold statue, but use a red candle – most practitioners agree that the color of the candle dominates. Also, you can always sew a little red cape for your gold statue to use in love rituals.

Some people say she is jealous. I don’t find this to be true – I work with an army of spirits, including Hindu ones. I find her to be perfectly compatible with other saints and spirits – although she is less specialized and more powerful than most of them. I do have a special altar for her and this is recommended by most people.

Thank you for your comment and your question. I hope this helps. And, I hope things improve for you very soon. The fact that it’s hard times for so many people is exactly why Santa Muerte has become more and more popular.

She does seem to demand devotion. Many people who work with her grow to genuinely love her, so if you work with her for very long the devotion will probably follow very naturally. She is one of the most powerful spirits I’ve run across.

My continuing research on Santa Muerte suggests that she is an ancient spirit that has been helping people – much like Our Lady – for a very long time.

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Grimoire of Santa Muerte: Spells and Rituals of Most Holy Death, the Unofficial Saint of Mexico

Grimoire of Santa Muerte: Spells and Rituals of Most Holy Death, the Unofficial by Sophia diGregorio

As the authority of both church and state have crumbled, Santa Muerte’s following has grown ever larger.  Devotion to Santa Muerte is not so much a matter of faith or belief, but a matter of experience. To know the power of Santa Muerte for yourself, you must forge a personal connection with her.

The Grimoire of Santa Muerte: Spells and Rituals of Most Holy Death, the Unofficial Saint of Mexico was written especially with non-Catholic, non-Spanish speaking people in mind. The author attempts to make Santa Muerte accessible to English-speaking readers. You can find it at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Kobo and other online outlets.

A nice article and review of the book may be found here: http://ideefixemon.blogspot.com/2013/02/santa-muerte-unoffical-saint-of-mexico.html

 

Owls in Witchcraft: The Mexican Lechuza and the Tik-tik, Wak-wak or Aswang of the Philippines

Posted in Black Magic, Holy Death, Mexican Witchcraft, occult, Santa Muerte, spell books, Traditional Witchcraft, Transformation with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 8, 2013 by littleredridinghood

Throughout the world, there is a remarkable number of stories about sightings of shapeshifting witches, often in the form of owls. While these stories are part of legend and myth, they are actually a part of present reality for people throughout parts of the U.S., Mexico, the Philippines and other places in the world where similar creatures are seen, most often at night.

The belief that witches transform into other creatures at night is a world-wide one. While the belief has been mostly eradicated among the “educated” and the “rational,” the fact is that many people, even hardened skeptics, have had encounters with these creatures. Although, accounts vary slightly from one region to another.

A witch with the power of transformation can take on a suitable shape to perform whatever function she has in mind. Apparently, the owl is a favorite form for many. The best known owl witches are found among the people of Mexico and the Philippines. They are very similar.
The Lechuza of Mexico

The name for a common owl in Mexico is “tecolote” or “buho.” The word “lechuza” is used by Spanish-speakers in other areas to mean an ordinary barn owl, but in some regions of Mexico when someone speaks of seeing or hearing a lechuza, they aren’t talking about an ordinary owl!

Lechuzas are witches who turn into owls and sometimes other animal forms at night. The Mexican lechuza is not always evil, but seeing one is usually very frightening. They make a terrible shriek and to hear own in your home is a portent of death. The sound made is a high-pitched shriek sometimes accompanied by a cracking or popping noise.

It is fairly common in Mexico for people to see what appear to witches crossing the moon in the sky. If the witch is a lechuza, some people say that reciting the All Father prayer backwards will make them fall from the sky. Witnesses say that lechuzas appear as human-sized owls with the faces of women. It is customary to throw rocks at a lechuza to drive her away.

Witches are known to conduct a lot of business at night. Many witches bury workings or spells in places and use a winged form in their travels to make sure they remain undisturbed. Sometimes lechuzas seem to have more sinister business, such as getting vengeance on a rival.

In most accounts of encounters with lechuzas, they are not so much dangerous as they are frightening. They are large, flying creatures who make a terrifying noise. In other accounts they have pursued or attacked people. Occasionally, they attack people in their beds.

Some people say that if the lechuza doesn’t make it home before dawn, she will be stuck in her owl form all day.

People in Mexico and Texas warn that if you’re walking at night and hear the whistle of a lechuza, you should not whistle back. If you do, the lechuza might swoop down and get you!

If you hear one outside your house, don’t open the door. They especially try to lure small children out of the house.

In some parts of Texas, Lechuzas hang out at night in certain places. Sometimes two or more lechuzas will work together either for a good purpose or malefic one.

Sightings of lechuzas are reported all the way from Oklahoma in the U.S., through Mexico and all the way down to Argentina in South America.

The Apache Indians, originally of the southwest are alleged to have among them women who can transform themselves into owls. The Nanticoke of the Algonquin Indians of the northeast of the U.S., also have legends of the Goo’koos, witches who transform themselves into owls. There may, also, be some relationship between these legends and those of the Thunderbird, which are still seen by people from time to time in the States, but little discussed.

In the Philippines there are lots of stories about a terrifying creature called the Aswang (sometimes spelled Asuwang). Stories about the Aswang vary slightly from place to place throughout the country, but it is generally agreed upon that it is a witch who transforms into a blood-sucking bat-like creature at night.

Unlike the Mexican lechuza, the Aswang is always terrifying and dangerous. Its primary targets are pregnant women and their unborn children. The Aswang is said to have some device by which it sucks blood from its victims.

Many of the same precautions taken against malefic witchcraft are used to defend against the Aswang. Strands of garlic, salt and silver are used to keep it at bay. Needles are placed into the door or threshold and other devices designed to confound witches are employed against them. There even formulas for detecting the presence of an aswang. Defensive weapons, including blessed spears made of local wood are used against them.

Closely related to the aswang is a being called a “tik-tik” and “wak-wak” along with other names in different regions of the Philippines, all of which seem to relate to the cracking or popping sound the creature makes. Like the Mexican lechuza, the tik-tik takes the form of large owl.

Some people say the aswang and the “tik-tik” are one and the same. Others believe that the tik-tik is a companion to the aswang. Yet others conjecture that the tik-tik is the form of a witch who has died.

A similar owl-like being called a “pontipinnak” is known in Malaysia.

Please, visit:  Psychic Powers and Magic Spells

Owl Goddesses

The world has a long history of owl goddesses that goes back, at least, 6000 years. Little is known about some of them, but they are often associated with warfare, death and the underworld.

Sumerian Innana, Akkadian Ishtar or possibly Hebrew Lillith

Sumerian Innana, Akkadian Ishtar or possibly Hebrew Lillith

The Sumerian goddess Innana and the Akkadian goddess Ishtar is depicted as a woman with owl’s wings and feet, accompanied by two owls. Ishtar is associated with warfare.

Similarly, the earliest Hebrew story of creation tells of a woman called Lillith, who was the first wife of Adam before she rebelled. She, too, is associated with the owl.

The Greek goddess Hecate is Queen of the Night, whose companion is an owl. She is the patron goddess of witches.

The Roman goddess Athena who is somewhat similar to Hecate, is associated with the owl.

The Owl on a Greek Coin from 450 B.C. with Athena’s head on the Other Side and the word Athena in Greek next to the owl in the picture.

The Owl on a Greek Coin from 450 B.C. with Athena's head on the Other Side and the word Athena in Greek next to the owl in the picture.

The Owl on a Greek Coin from 450 B.C. with Athena’s head on the Other Side and the word Athena in Greek next to the owl in the picture.

La Santa Muerte or Holy Death of Mexico is commonly depicted with an owl. While not properly speaking a goddess, she has a lot in common with ancient owl goddesses of Western Europe and Mesopotamia and appears to be a blend of native Mexican Indian traditions and southwestern European ones.

Lakshimi

The Hindu goddess of wealth, prosperity and beauty, Lakshimi is depicted with an owl at the lower right.

Lakshimi

Lakshimi

Normally, Lakshimi is depicted sitting on a lotus blossom being showered with water from the trunks of two white elephants, who represent prosperity, abundance and good fortune.

Possibly, this depiction on the right is another aspect of her power.

Please, visit:  Psychic Powers and Magic Spells

Goetic Demons Who Appear as Owls

There are, also, two Goetic demons who are depicted as owls and who are said to appear to the conjurer in such form.

Stolas

Stolas

Prince Stolas is one of these (pictured to the right). He is one of the most dangerous demons. According to the Goetia, “Stolas is a Great Prince of Hell, commands twenty-six legions of demons, and teaches astronomy and the knowledge of poisonous plants, herbs and precious stones. He is also known as Stolos and Solas. He is depicted as either being a crowned owl with long legs, a raven, or a man.

Marquis Andras

Marquis Andras

Marquis Andras, who is pictured to the left, is a Grand Marquis of Hell, appearing with a winged angel’s body and the head of an owl or raven, riding upon a strong black wolf and wielding a sharp and bright sword.

Like Prince Stolas, he is regarded as highly dangerous and capable of killing the conjurer who, if he allows himself to be lured out of his protective circle, is subject to instant death.

Please, visit:  Psychic Powers and Magic Spells

Comments

diyomarpandan

Great article!

Besides tik-tik, aswang (Hiligaynon) and wakwak (Cebuano), we in the east coast of Mindanao (Kamayo) believe in ayok, a similar vampire-like being.

I want to point out the origin of aswang though. They were initially the babaylans or native priestesses of Panay, whom the Church demonized and made into aswang.

TraditionalWitchcraft

Thank you! I really appreciate your comment and your input and I’m hoping for more comments like yours.

I’m sorry that my research on the Tik-tik or aswang is so limited. I have access to more information about the lechuza because my husband and his family are from Mexico and have had experiences with them.

The point you make about the babaylans is, also, made in the documentary above, entitled “The Aswang Phenomenon.” According to the narrator of the film, it seems to have, also, been a conscious attempt on the part of allopathic medical doctors to demonize (literally) their competition and drive them out of business. This is their M.O. everywhere!

Thanks very much for your comment and observations!

Shawn May Scott

What an excellent article!!! I have read about shapeshifting and touched breifly on owls but never to this extent have I had so much information in one source. Thank you for the great read. Voted up, shared, pinned, tweeted etc.

Lori Anne Brown 16 months ago from Sanford, Florida

Great information! I had never heard of the Tik-tik before. Really interesting.

jadesmg

Interesting article. I was unaware of the frequency of the depiction of peoples transformations into owl particularly. I know alot of spirit or soul type anial depictions are of birds. I assumed this was always as they are possibly viewed as free-er and better able to navagate outwith our own realms. I guess the owl is just this but a little further, not only are they able to fly but they do it at night, beyond our own daily ventures. Increases the sinister and hidden elements of thes transformations and depictions. Thanks for sharing your information.

TraditionalWitchcraft

Shawn May Scott,

What a nice compliment. Thank you!

Lori Anne Brown,

Thanks for your comment. The Aswang is very much like a vampire and really scary. They’ve even done a bunch of movies in the Philippines about the Aswang and, like the lechuza, there are lots of stories about strange encounters with these things.

jadesmg,

Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I’m sure there’s a lot more than this, because these transformation stories really are world-wide. I think a witch is able to choose the form that suits her (or his – although it seems to be mostly women) purposes best. The owl is predatory, has great night vision and can see all around. In native American folk tales, it is common for animals and people to exchange characteristics with one another. This was done as part of a bargain or out of kindness from one species to another when one was in need.

I really appreciate all of the nice comments. Thank you!

Dominique

Well done, as usual madam. Your articles are wonderful and I always feel like I learned something.

However, I would like to suggest something for this article. All the research I’ve come across has said that the picture of the Sumerian goddess you had above wasn’t Inanna, but actually Lilitu, who was the Sumerian desert goddess who eventually became the Lilith of Jewish mythology.

But, that was, what 5,000/6,000 years ago, so I guess we can’t really know!

TraditionalWitchcraft

Dominique,

Thanks for stopping by and adding your insights.

Yes, that image of the owl-winged lady with the 2 owls is officially called the “Burney Relief” and the depiction is just called “The Queen of the Night.” From what I could tell, nobody’s is really sure which queen of the night it depicts. Ishtar as the most common candidate I’ve seen, but Inanna and Lillith are all in the running.

The owl goddess or owl-woman concept seems to be an old one. I don’t know if the researchers know why. The materialist looking at this would say that the influence of this idea spread from one place to another. But, it may just be because there really are such “queens of the night” – like Tik-tik and Lechuza.

I just edited to add Lillith because that’s a really good point. Thank you!

kitty

Very interesting. I’ve actually been wanting to write something about La Lechuza for quite some time…but you’ve done a great job! Didn’t know about the two owl demons…interesting that the one teaches its student about herbs, plants, and stones (all things that wise women used at one time in healing methods, etc. and continue to use today). Thanks!

TraditionalWitchcraft

Kitty,

Thank you! I’m sure there’s more to say on this subject. The owl and witchcraft seem to be very much intertwined. The lighter aspect of the owl is its wisdom and ability to penetrate the darkness; but it’s other aspect is predatory. The owl is a raptor that swoops down and grabs other creatures at night and so it’s a bird of death, too. So, it seems to me that it represents two important aspects of witchcraft: Wisdom and power.

I really appreciate your insights. Thank you!

jolinabetts

Hi TraditionalWitchcraft!

Your topic regarding the ‘wakwak’ and ‘tiktik’ is very interesting, oh and the aswang as well. Very well written.

Back in the 80s, i remember reading a headline with a picture of an alleged Leader of the Aswangs in the Southern Region of the Philippines. His head was decapitated and was held by one of the townfolk in another town. I hope you won’t mind me telling this story but this happened and was made into a local movie in Manila once.

A young college freshman had nowhere else to go on her semestral break and her classmate Michelle asked her if she can come with her to her place a 3 hour ferry ride into the South. Raquel, the name of this college freshman agreed and they rode the ferry and came to the town by foot from the port, it was almost 4 in the afternoon.

Just to let you know, Old Witchcraft , that the setting of the sun sets fast by 5pm and by 6pm its already dark in some months except December.

Raquel felt chills to her spine when she walked into town because there are no people coming out of the houses to meet them, no children either. Michelle led her to her ancestral home where her father was waiting for them. He seemed very pleased to see Raquel and told her they’re having a feast in her honor. Then slowly as the sun sets at 5:30, the town folk came out of their houses with candles lit in their homes.

In the 80s there are still towns in the south of the Philippines that don’t have electricity.

Michelle coaxed Raquel that they should take a nap because of the long trip then she will wake her up if its time for dinner. Raquel agreed and they both slept on a straw mat on the floor. Raquel could not sleep and she heard some whispers outside her window, the father and some tall man were conversing. ” She’s quite plump, Michelle picked a good one this time”, the father said and the tall man was smiling and said ” its been awhile since a tourist visit this place, we better beat her to a pulp with a club so we can make her bones into soup”. Raquel got nervous because the tone of their voices aren’t normal. She looked at Michelle and she noticed she was wearing golden jewellry, like earrings and rings. Raquel slowly put the earrings and rings on her and make the sleeping Michelle to the side where Raquel used to be lying down. Raquel covered her body except her head and her arm with the glittery gold jewellry.

Then she heard someone coming into their room and she couldn’t look behind her because they might see her, she heard a loud smack and something is being dragged down to the stairs. As soon as the door closed, she looked back and saw her friend is no longer there.

Then she peeked outside the window and saw that the father and the man are holding a sack with traces of blood which seems to have Michelle in it. The town folk gathered in a dim lit area and cackles of laughter are among them and they were moving far away from the house.

In no time Raquel looked for her way out, she leaped from the 2 story high house and ran barefoot into the woods. Then she heard a wailing sound of something flying behind her. It was the townfolk, they were gaining on her. These so called townfolk are aswangs. Raquel ran as fast as she could until she was at the beach and saw a boatman who lives near and ask for his help. He took pity on her and let her hide under a small canoe.

The screeching stopped upon reaching the beach, Raquel could hear a gruff voice of a man talking to the boatman and asking her whereabouts. The boatman denied and the people and the man went back to their town, At the break of Dawn, Raquel was able to escape with the help of the boatman. The news broke out and some people hunt down the father of Michelle. His head was decapitated and as shown on the front page news dated 1988.

TraditionalWitchcraft

jolinabetts,

That is an amazing story! Thank you very much for sharing it.

I have read about entire towns in the Philippines filled with witches who live apart from the rest of the population.

jolinabetts

Hi TraditionalWitchcraft!

Thanks for replying. You are right the entire towns in the philippines especially the provincial ones have a lot of witches and most of them take form as lowly provincial maidens going to the city looking for work as house maids.

The Tiktik is a creature which resembles an owl also but with large wings and has a long tongue that if a pregnant woman is sleepin, her tongue usually latches on the tummy like a leech and suck the ammiotic fluid and even the baby.

The Aswang also resembles an owl too and they often take a lot of forms too, like dogs and cats. They are cannibals in the night.

The wakwak is also the same as the Tiktik although this one preys on small children.

I hope this may interest you. You hit the mark about Owls 🙂 they are very sacred creatures.

Oh TraditionalWitchcraft, the ‘mangkukulam’ or witch, in filipino, is still revered as a dangerous being in the Philippines. They usually cast a spell on some person and the person who was cursed with a mangkukulam have an extreme case of boils or small lumps growing bigger everyday. Once a doctor tries to incise the boil, they often see some leaves and soil and twigs of all sorts inside a boil or a bump.

jolinabetts,

Thank you for this information. I’ve read a little about the mangkukulam, but I hadn’t heard about the soil and twig filled boils. In the southern states of the U.S., there are reports of snakes in people’s abdomens and sometimes wombs. The delivery of this kind of spell usually involves the person breathing a substance prepared by a witch. Of course, it’s more than just the substance, there is a great deal of malice imparted into it.

Thanks for the good info. It’s hard to find a lot of good information about witchcraft in the Philippines online. If you have any good recommendations in English or Tagalog, for that matter, I would be interested in knowing about it.

Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge about this subject.

TraditionalWitchcraft

Thanks, also, for distinguishing the difference between the Tik-tik and the Wak-wak.

Interestingly, the Mexican Lechuza is said to prey on small children, too. It makes a noise and tries to trick a child into walking outside the house and then it snatches him or her.

jolinabetts 16 months ago from The Philippine Islands

Hi TraditionalWitchcraft! Thank you for replying, you’ve been very gracious.

Yes i will research about the books for you. I’d be happy to do that.

May i ask, i always wanted to know if witches in the United States are mostly from American Indian descent? I hope i don’t offend people on this article of yours, I’m curious how witches are in the US? Here they are revered as Hags with unruly hair and who lives in remote areas.

Your friend,

Jolina

TraditionalWitchcraft

jilinabetts,

That’s very nice of you. Thank you!

It is a complicated question about witchcraft and who practices it. I tend to define witchcraft pretty broadly to include things that other people might not consider to be witchcraft. In English, we really only have one word for it. I’m not sure it was always that way, though. A lot seemed to change with the advent of popular culture like movies and television. But, if you go back several decades a lot of people had strong folk beliefs and there were many people, especially in rural areas, who were thought to be witches of some kind or other. Usually they distinguished the good from the bad. There were healers, root workers and conjure doctors who took hexes off people. And, there were the malefic witches who cast spells on people.

Some American Indian spiritual practices are similar to witchcraft practices around the world, although I’m not sure they would like to be called witches. They are well known for their abilities to bring rain during a drought and to perform healing miracles. But, they really got shoved to the side. A lot were killed and who knows how many were absorbed by the Europeans. A lot of white people have an Indian grandmother a few generations back, it seems. But, they were so abused and mistreated at one point that this was usually kept secret and sometimes only known by the family. The rest of the Indians were shoved off onto reservations by the middle of the 1800s and a lot of information about them was completely lost. Although, many of these traditional practices are still going on, a lot of Indians grew secretive about them. But, a lot was preserved in books by researchers. The Indians were and probably some of them still are capable of doing a lot of amazing things like being able to walk into an encampment unseen and even to put hexes on people, similar to the mangkukulam spell you mentioned. People who can do things like that are always secretive.

Witchcraft came to this country from everywhere that the people came from. So, there is witchcraft here literally from all over the world. It seems to me that most of it is practiced in the southern and southwestern states, though.

The most intriguing aspect of American witchcraft to me is what I call American Hoodoo. This is witchcraft with both an African and American Indian basis. But, over the years they combined more and more ideas from the Kaballah and European folk practices. I think most people would be surprised at how strong European practices remained in parts of the U.S., especially in the old west or southwest, which is now called the midwest. Right in the middle of the country, out on the old frontier in the middle of the 1800s, there weren’t a lot of Christians preachers or churches – just wilderness and a few Indians. And, it is here that a lot of European practices survived well into the 20th century. (I mention this in my article on Ozark Mountain Love Spells.)

But, a lot of people felt like witchcraft and magic was something only low class or uneducated white people did. A modern form of witchcraft from Britain – Wicca – became popular here between the 1980s and 1990s and it’s very big now. The biggest demographic is probably white and fairly middle class.

But, if I had to hazard a guess about what demographic practices the most witchcraft in the U.S., I’d say it’s the Spanish-speaking people. Most Americans don’t know about it because they don’t speak Spanish or hang out in Spanish-speaking neighborhoods. The other large group of magic practitioners are black people, especially in the south. A lot of them still have their old family traditions handed down from one generation to the next, even those who are essentially Christians. And, based on the people I met when I had my metaphysical bookstore, I’d say there are more black people practicing some form of traditional witchcraft in private than most white people would imagine.

One reason for the survival and strength of American Hoodoo is much more classist than most people would like to believe. And, if you don’t have a lot of money or powerful friends, you don’t get fair treatment or justice. That’s where Hoodoo comes in. For some people in this country, especially in the south, it was the only weapon they had. Sadly, things haven’t changed all that much. And, frankly, I don’t think it’s all that great here for women, either, which is why a lot of women are attracted to it. (I kind of mention that in my review of the movie Season of the Witch – it’s all about white middle-class women turning to witchcraft.) Whenever there is a lot of oppression, witchcraft flourishes and grows stronger. A similar thing is happening in parts of Mexico right now because of all of the corruption and desperation. (I mention this in the Santa Muerte or Holy Death article here – you can see them, if you click my profile picture.)

I apologize for having to speak in such broad generalizations about this subject. I’ve thought about it a lot and I do quite a bit of research on the subject. But, this is just my (one person’s) opinion, of course.

TraditionalWitchcraft

With regard to this: “Here they are revered as Hags with unruly hair and who lives in remote areas.”

Movies like “Bell, Book and Candle” and “I Married a Witch” in the 1940s starring glamourous women as witches began to slowly change the American perception of what a witch is or looks like. The 1960’s to 1970s television series “Bewitched” continued this idea. Witches became very beautiful and glamorous. Most sensible, educated people in the U.S. didn’t believe in witchcraft, at all. But, that started changing more and more from the 1970s (See Season of the Witch – you can see this whole movie, if you go to my blogposts on Season of the Witch) and by the 80s and 90s, witches were trendy – even when they were oddballs and outsiders, they were beautiful and powerful women.

But, there is still the old image of the witch. When I think of the more traditional witch image in the U.S., I think of the Swamp Witch from the Bayous in Louisiana characterized in Jim Stafford’s song by that name.

It’s about a scary witch who lives in a shack in the thick forests and swamps of the south. When there’s an outbreak of some kind of fever, the townsfolk blame Hattie, the swamp witch. But, Hattie cooks up a brew and saves the town. So, there’s still the idea that witches, even scary ones, aren’t all that bad – maybe just misunderstood.

Just like in W. Europe, traditionally in the U.S., good witches are thought of as being young and beautiful and bad witches are thought of us as old hags with warts on their noses. But, increasingly the witch as an old hag is an unpopular image. In fact, some modern witches (Wiccans) kind of have their own public relations group right out of Salem, Massachusetts and elsewhere in the country who monitor negative imagery of witches in the media. They are very active in speaking out against anything they see as inaccurate or negative.

Kyanelii

This is beyond interesting! I grew up in the Mexican/US border and my family believed that they were witches! I remember having a cook out with my family at night & one was flew and stood on a light post.. And just looked at us, making some kind of “human laugh..” It sounded exactly like a human laugh and the face was unforgettable.. Just like a “persons” face! My aunt came outside and started rehearsing a prayer backwards and threaten it to being out some “onions and chile” because according to Mexican legends, that is also suppose to make them go Away!

Without a doubt.. If you guys could hear the sound and the face they have… You guys would never forget it!

Aika

I would want to add further details about the Aswang. It isnt all the time that aswang takes the form of an owl. A lot of times, aswang takes a humanoid form with unruly hair and red eyes. Aswangs have different types, which are the tik-tik and ‘wak-wak’ among others. They are called such because of the sounds they make when they are around.

Tiktik or “keek-keek” as what others call them is often depicted as a female ghoul with the shape of a bird that feeds on the unborn child of pregnant women and newborn babies. They are known for their long tongues that could penetrate the house to sneak on their victims.

While the Wakwak is said to be a female that has bat-like wings and red eyes. It feeds on the internal organs of its victims, focusing on the heart which is said to be the tastiest part of humans. They are also known to victimize someone who is gravely ill and about to die, which the folks would refer to as “inaaswang”.

Another kind of aswang, “Mananangal” is almost the same as wakwak only that it can separate its torso into two. It is the most popular of all the aswangs because it is often portrayed in Philippine movies. Accding to legend, manananggals are beautiful women during the day. At midnight they would apply a special oil to their body that would enable them to separate the upper half of their body to their trunk. The half of the body would fly to search for victims while the lower half would stay were it is left. It is said that when you find the torso of a manananggal, you can put salt into it so that the upper half would not be able to return and attach with its half eventually causing death to the aswang.

I came across your blog because of my recent encounter with the these creaturse. I am a believer of ghosts and entities but has been a skeptic when it comes to aswang. I thought with the advent of modernization, aswang will remain as a part of Filipino Folklore,but guess I was wrong.

Two nights ago, I was watching TV at our living room when my dad called me to his room. He said in a low voice to listen as he heard a sound that belongs to a tiktik. Our dogs as well as that from our neighbors were all barking and howling, they appear to be distracted at something from the bamboo groves by the river. My dad said that the tiktik might have been watching over the 3 pregnant women in our neighborhood.

I was totally over that story when just last night, my best friend and I decided to hangout at the nearby basketball court. Our place is not rural, in fact it is almost a developed town but mostly occupied with sugarcane farms and a river nearby surrounded with thick bamboo groves. We sat on the bench to talk and as my friend was about to light his cigar, we heard a loud flapping sound from the big tree meters away from us near the river. I was about to leave when my friend tried to stop me saying aloud that it must have been bats hovering around us. The wakwak after hearing what my friend said, has yet to prove to us that she is not a bat, once again flapped its wings much louder than the previous one that the whole tree shook. One could imagine that even the biggest bat cannot make that loud sound that almost shook the whole tree. It must have been coming from big wings, one that wakwaks have. We ran after hearing the second one and swore never to return there again at night.

Almost all of my relatives have a story to share about aswang, and now that I have my own, I could say that these legends are bound to be true.

TraditionalWitchcraft

Dear Aika,

Thank you for your detailed account of your views on these creatures and your recent experience. Dogs seem to have a keen awareness of thees things, including the Mexican lechuza and it’s pretty common that a visitation is preceded by a peculiar howling of dogs.

Anonymous

When I was little I saw a huge bird out side my house my dad owned 5 little pigs and 2 big pigs the next morning 1 pig disappears my dad could here a crying baby in the woods next to my house are neighbor said he saw a huge bird take are pig .the next day there was a second piglet missing and claw prints in the mud. That night my dad stayed up all night waiting to see what or who was taking the piglets. What he saw scared him. In the distance appeared the bird 3 ft tall. It’s wing span was enormous. He tried to shoot it but the bird seemed to shield itself with its wings. It made a horrible sound as it flew away.

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Misconceptions About Santa Muerte: Most Holy Death is Public Enemy Number One to Journalists, Christians and Law Enforcement Agencies

Posted in Holy Death, Mexican Witchcraft, occult, Santa Muerte, spell books, Traditional Witchcraft with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 18, 2013 by littleredridinghood

Misconceptions About Santa Muerte: Most Holy Death is Public Enemy Number One
to Journalists, Christians and Law Enforcement Agencies

by Sophia diGregorio

Sophia diGregorio is the author of The Grimoire of Santa Muerte: Spells and Rituals of Most Holy Death, the Unofficial Saint of Mexico

Cult_of_Santa_Muerte_(3255120148)

Santa Muerte or Saint Death is a saint that one can petition for protection, luck, good negotiations and love. She is not officially recognized by the catholic church who has declared her following a cult. It is believed that she is actually a representation of the much older Aztec God of death.
Date 31 January 2009, 05:03
Source Cult of Santa Muerte
Uploaded by russavia
Author Christine Zenino from Chicago, US
Photo Lic.: Creative Commons 2.0; Wikimedia Comons

There are many misconceptions about Santa Muerte, who is one of numerous folk saints in Mexico.

Despite the goodness and rich beauty of the Mexican tradition of Santa Muerte, her long history and noble legends, critics within the conventional religious and government establishments have tried to besmirch her image and associate her and her devotees with Satanism, narcotics trafficking and heinous crimes. To the Catholic Church, she is Satanic and a heresy. They refer to her as an “illegitimate saint” or a “banned saint.”

In 2006, former Mexican President, Felipe Calderon, ordered her shrines to be destroyed by the Mexican Army and police departments and drug agencies in the U.S. have declared her a “narco-saint.” The FBI and other agencies of the U.S. government seem convinced that there is a connection between Santa Muerte and drug trafficking, although they seem to ignore the fact that the devotion to Santa Muerte is so common, and increasingly so, that trying to make such a connection is impossible.  Nonetheless, they have endeavored to connect her devotees with the commission of a range of heinous crimes, including human sacrifice.

Recently, she was denounced by the Vatican culture minister on a tour of Mexico as “blasphemous.” The Catholic Church, which is engulfed in numerous scandals ranging from pedophilia to accusations of mafia connections inside the Vatican, is desperate to hold on to what remains of its influence in Mexico and elsewhere. They see Santa Muerte as a direct threat to their power and influence, although, many devotees of Santa Muerte are, at least, nominally Catholic.

Journalists have happily demonized Santa Muerte in sensationalized and often religiously biased “news” pieces, mostly at the expense of the facts.

The truth is that most devotees of Santa Muerte in the U.S  and Mexico are not drug dealers, prostitutes or other types of criminals. Many are prosperous, upstanding members of their communities who practice their devotion in secrecy with home shrines. Many are highly spiritual people, who are natural healers of one kind or another.

Santa Muerte is a powerful spirit who succeeds when all else fails, therefore, it is often in the most desperate of times that devotees first turn to her.  Many are people in need of comfort, healing, love, financial help, protection and justice in an unjust world.

Grimoire of Santa Muerte: Spells and Rituals of Most Holy Death, the Unofficial Saint of Mexico

Grimoire of Santa Muerte: Spells and Rituals of Most Holy Death, the Unofficial Saint of Mexico

As the authority of both church and state have crumbled, Santa Muerte’s following has grown ever larger.  Devotion to Santa Muerte is not so much a matter of faith or belief, but a matter of experience. To know the power of Santa Muerte for yourself, you must forge a personal connection with her.

The Grimoire of Santa Muerte: Spells and Rituals of Most Holy Death, the Unofficial Saint of Mexico was written especially with non-Catholic, non-Spanish speaking people in mind. The author attempts to make Santa Muerte accessible to English-speaking readers. You can find it at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Kobo and other online outlets.

A nice article and review of the book may be found here: http://ideefixemon.blogspot.com/2013/02/santa-muerte-unoffical-saint-of-mexico.html